Just add yellow

I was feeling a bit blue. In pain, not making much progress with the unpacking, intimidated by the scope of work in the garden…

So what was wanted was a dash of yellow. Blue + yellow = green. The antidote for the blues is, I find, all things green.

Anyway, after that somewhat convoluted explanation for the title, I’m going to let the pictures speak for themselves. Green, green and more green, with a dash of pink.

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It’s making me want to make a green quilt. Some of the patterns of the leaves and in the leaves just shout ‘quilting design’ at me. And appliqué, and maybe some embroidery. It feels nice to get my creative mojo back; it has been sorely lacking the last couple of weeks.

I must go and put some pink birthday candles on the cake for my sister in law. It’s a very nice cake – I’ll be posting about it on Monday, but by that time it will have been reduced to a few crumbs…

Steampunk Wheel XI: finished

It’s been a long pull. Hundreds of fiddly little pieces to fit together neatly. But it’s done now.

Screen shot 2014-08-03 at 4.34.20 PMScreen shot 2014-08-03 at 4.35.04 PMScreen shot 2014-08-03 at 4.35.21 PMThere’s a big bite out of one side where Wheel XII fits between it and the previous completed Wheel VIII. It’s 69cm (about 27 inches) across and contains 253 pieces. Far too many of them are little triangles 4cm high by 2.5 wide…

Wheel XII will be next, so I can start fitting the shapes together. The colours for this next one will be warm: coppers, reds, a bit of black with a lot of gold printing, perhaps a bit of ochre or amber. I want to make a clear contrast between the wheels.

I’m going to be doing a spot of embroidery in the evenings for the next week or so, rather than stitching Steampunk together. I have a SAL date to meet next Sunday, and a bit of progress is required!

And there’s going to be a slight lull in my usual frenetic sewing activity. We are buying a house, a beautiful old Queenslander, and it’s in a bit of a state. Lots of renovation needed, and I am the on-the-spot foreman, scraper, sander, painter, tool hander, flatpack kitchen assembler, tea-maker and phoner of missing tradesmen. It’s nothing I haven’t done before, so I’m not unduly nervous, just eager to get started. There’s beautiful silky oak skirtings, fretwork and door frames to be exposed, sanded and varnished, old windows with stained glass panels to be stripped and repainted, original brass door furniture to be scrubbed and polished, and a whole dreadful, beetle-infested 1940s kitchen to be ripped out and replaced with something a little less hazardous to health – but I’m saving the handles, which are great, still in good shape and rather interesting in design.

I’ll probably be posting on progress on Waking the Sleeping Beauty in due course, but it’s too early still, we don’t own her yet.

I haven’t forgotten my quilts, but they may be going into suspended animation for a while. I have a lot of quotes to organise….

 

 

 

 

Broken Bottles #13: Finished, finally

Screen shot 2014-05-30 at 4.31.33 PMIt’s done.  OK, I still have to sew on a label, but the quilt’s finished.

Screen shot 2014-05-30 at 4.32.32 PMThe quilting is just spacey enough that it’s still soft and drapes well. The broken glass starburst isn’t too overpowering on the front, and adds a bit of interest and texture on the back. I had just enough of everything, and a nice bit of the green shot backing cotton left to do something else with. There isn’t a single jelly roll strip left over, and the two spare blocks which I made into a heat pad are doing service on my desk as a pad under the camera.  I like a tidy result…. Oh, and it’s a Friday Finish!

Screen shot 2014-05-30 at 4.31.55 PMTime to go and defluff the sewing machine and put a new needle in. Amistad’s the next quilt in line, woo hoo!

Broken Bottles #12: Quilted, quite


Screen shot 2014-05-29 at 6.49.13 PM Screen shot 2014-05-29 at 6.49.26 PM Screen shot 2014-05-29 at 6.49.37 PMIt’s done. The quilting is finished.

A little unpicking, a little re-sewing, but nothing too drastic. It’s finished, trimmed out, de-threaded, and the binding is made, ready to sew on tomorrow. By the end of the day, it should be done, labelled, finished. I must go and dig out a label transfer and a bit of white fabric…. Weather permitting, once it’s done I can hang it on the clothesline as usual to get a better photo. My hands are still a bit sore from all the heavy work of the past few days, but luckily sewing doesn’t seem to make it worse.

Screen shot 2014-05-29 at 6.50.00 PMAlso today, I treated myself to three new dressmaking patterns. Rather good value, actually, since they were half price, and three of the two were for multiple garments. So for $27 I have patterns for a tunic and medium pants, a wrap dress, a wrap top, wide leg pants, narrow leg pants, a coat, a jacket, a vest, and a simple dress / pinafore / jumper in two lengths.

First up will probably be the wrap dress, since I don’t have a really pretty dress to go out in, all my pretty outfits are separates. And for the dress, I’m going with a fabulous slinky matte jersey splashy print in teal and aqua on a white background which I have hoarded for a few years but never done anything with due to lack of overlocker. It’s loud, but this IS the tropics, after all… And then I shall make something from my cream and chocolate floral silhouette print, and then, and then….

Screen shot 2014-05-29 at 6.50.24 PMScreen shot 2014-05-29 at 6.50.35 PMIt’s good to be back at the sewing machine. The baby vegies are fine on their own, I have projects lined up, and time to play.

On the chain gang

I’m very tired.

Between us, the Husband and I have shifted a cubic metre of fist-sized river stone, and a cubic metre of hardwood wood chips, dug up about 7 square metres of turf, laid weed matting and got all three garden pods ready for their planting medium. It’s been warm, sunny weather, and we’ve laboured hard.

So, no gleeful exposition of finished quilts. In between times, while the Husband is getting his afternoon sleep before night shift, I get a little sewing done. But I’m usually tired, achey and my hands are sore, so I’m not making much progress.

I haven’t been entirely lacking in creativity, though:

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Egglantine has now joined her earlier sisters Eggatha and Eggnes.  And that will be quite enough of that. As my friend Cath over at Wombat Quilts (http://wombatquilts.com) says, perhaps it’s time for an intervention…?  They are, after all, just egg cosies.

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And I’ve made a nice heat pad from the two spare Broken Bottles blocks. Maybe I’ll send it to Yvonne with her quilt. Or maybe I’ll keep it for myself. I’ll see how generous I feel when the quilt’s ready. And speaking of Broken Bottles, the quilting is about 2/3 done. There’s one bit I have to unpick, it’s looking a bit bulgy, but it’s just a small line. For the rest, I’m pleased with how it’s going.

Off to rest my weary bones. Tomorrow is the day for getting the lucerne hay and compost for the pods, and then, finally, I can plant!

I hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend.

Broken Bottles #10: Pinned, perfectly

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I used about twice the normal amount of safety pins…

It’s done, and I didn’t even have to grovel. I checked with my back and knees, and they told me that if I got down on the floor, there’d be industrial action and a few days of grief. So I took the whole shebang outside to my l.o.n.g patio table, taped the short edge of the backing to one edge, and drew the fabric tight across, putting the rest in a roll on the seats of 4 chairs to hold the tension. Then the batting, same deal, and then the top. Once I’d done the top half, I unstuck the tape, and rolled it the other way to do the lower half.

Screen shot 2014-05-17 at 12.03.51 PMI worked quite fast, as the wind is picking up and we’re promised rain later, but it’s done. The thing is totally flat and heavily pinned; wrinkles and puckers are not welcome here. Yes, OK, I had to put in two and a half boxes of safety pins, but I didn’t need to bend over. Instead of being in pain and over the whole business, I’m ready to get quilting! Or I would be, if I didn’t need to go and stuff up my back in other ways, digging up turf in the vegie garden…

Screen shot 2014-05-17 at 12.03.33 PMIn the event, I decided not to piece the spare blocks into the back, so it’s just plain. And gorgeous. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE that shot green? Maybe these two photos give you an inkling: it’s the colour of fresh, green growing things, and after quilting, my next favourite thing is gardening…

Right. Time for a cup of coffee, and then I have to go and tackle the back yard.

Broken Bottles #9: Green, and gorgeous

Screen shot 2014-05-15 at 1.39.21 PMI have found the most beautiful shot cotton for the backing.

It’s in a colour called ‘green tea’, and it’s a lime weft thread on a dark olive warp. Truly beautiful. I have bought just a tiny bit more than I need for the backing, because I want some good scraps of it. But only a tiny bit… I may have to go back. It’s brighter than most of the other greens, but it sort of lights up the quilt. I have just enough dark green leafy print to do the binding with about 16″ left over. Close, but not too scary.

Screen shot 2014-05-15 at 1.40.32 PMI’m going to piece the back. The seams will be horizontal, the full WOF across the bottom, then a seam and inset squares, one of them straight strips, and two diagonals, offset and surrounded by plain green, then another seam and the top half also green. That way, I use up the three squares I have left over, give the back a bit of fun, and give myself a few more bits of scrap. Cunning plan, eh? On the other hand, if I use one of the squares for the front of a sofa cushion with a border around it, backed with the shot cotton, that would also be fabulous. No, I don’t think I can be that noble. The scraps are mine!

Broken Bottles #7: Turning the Corner

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Screen shot 2014-05-13 at 4.40.43 PMThe first border is on. I had some pale green strips left over, and have pieced together the first border from those. It’s not elegant, but it is in keeping. I just didn’t have enough to do beautiful broad mitred corners with these fabrics, so I’m saving that for the white border, which I’ll do next. I didn’t much enjoy this bit, trying to squeeze something out of insufficient fabric. There’s no margin for safety, and I can’t just go and get some more, the fabrics came from the UK. But however inelegant, it’s done. I think the white border will be twice as wide, and then the narrow dark green binding, once it’s quilted.

Screen shot 2014-05-13 at 4.48.14 PMMy sister sent me a photo she took of the forest floor in the rainforest in northern NSW a couple of years ago. She says it reminds her of Broken Bottles. I can see what she means, but perhaps her bottles are brown rather than green! I’d love a print based on this colour scheme and layout, perhaps with a little more contrast and some flashes of gold and orange, too. Which is weird, because normally I’m not much of a brown person…

I spent the morning on non-quilty activities. The second vegie garden pod is ready for its filling. We have one more to go, and perhaps a 4th if I can summon enough energy. I’ve stripped a load of turf, laid weedmatting and bark chips, we’ve decapitated another IBC and erected the frame over it. I must go and dig out my seed catalogue to think about what I want to grow. It’s too late to sow now, I’ll have to buy seedlings, but I’ll get ideas for later. Meanwhile, my back is yelling at me and I feel a cup of tea and a piece of gingerbread coming on…

Sorry, not a very exciting post today, but the progress is mostly invisible!

Broken Bottles #6: Pointy (im)perfection

Screen shot 2014-05-12 at 3.40.31 PMSo, that’s the central panel done.

It does look good, though I say so myself, but now my eye is drawn irresistibly to the points that don’t match up exactly. We’re talking less than an eighth of an inch here, but still, I notice. So I’m just going to get over myself and admire all the ones that do.

Now I can play at border options. I want to be sure I’m happy with what’s going to happen before I start cutting, so I’m going to fiddle around with it a bit longer. And then once the top’s done, I can buy the backing fabric, cut the binding and away we go again.

I’m having second and third thoughts about the quilting pattern. Some of you have said that you don’t see a traffic accident in the shattered glass image, which is good. But once the thought had occurred to me, I couldn’t stop seeing it. Anyway, I’m going to suspend the decision until I’m ready to go, and may find something better in the meantime.

Right, time to break out the border fabrics.